Voice on the Vote
A look at the November 4th ballot. BY JIM WOOD
In Measure A, the Marin
Emergency Radio Authority
(MERA) wants $29 a year for
the next 20 years to update
the network connecting
police, firefighter and public
is questionable, but the need is not. Most are
saying Yes, and approval calls for a two-third
majority. With Measure R, Marin General
Hospital wants approval of a lease arrangement that turns day-to-day management over
to a board appointed by the elected Marin
Healthcare District board. Again, it’s a Yes.
Let’s close with two matters involving Ross
Valley. First, a close race for that area’s seat on
the Marin Municipal Water District’s board is
between incumbent Liza Crosse, Supervisor
Steve Kinsey’s administrative aide, and challenger Larry Bragman, an attorney, staunch
environmentalist and current Fairfax town
councilman. If I lived there — after reviewing
the endorsements — I’d go with Crosse. Also
on most Ross Valley ballots are parcel taxes
— up to $75 a year for the next four years — to
maintain paramedics’ response times. It’s
a small amount, sure, and if I lived there I’d
vote Yes. But when and where does the taxing
stop? Like Marin’s Measure A, approval here
calls for a t wo-thirds majority.
That’s my point of view. What’s yours?
Torlakson, 65, is a pro-tenure incumbent backed
by the teachers’ union, and Marshall Tuck, 41,
is an effective Southern California education
reformer who opposes tenure. These three races
definitely bring intrigue to the ballot.
Regarding state propositions, here is how I
PROP. 1: Water Bond A $7.5 billion measure to
relieve impact of droughts has overwhelming
bipartisan support. Yes.
PROP. 2: Budget Stabilization A constitutional
amendment to create a “rainy day” fund also
has wide support. Yes.
PROP. 45: Health Care Insurance Close and
complex; most say intention might be right,
but timing is wrong. No.
PROP. 46: Testing of Doctors Several complex
health care measures that the Legislature
should handle. No.
PROP. 47: Criminal Sentencing Reduces nonserious and nonviolent crimes from felonies to
PROP. 48: Gaming Compacts Complex made
simple: If you like the idea of Indian gaming
casinos, Yes. If not, No.
As for Marin-centric contests, Jared
Huffman deserves a second term in the U. S.
House of Representatives; Marc Levine should
be returned to the California State Assembly;
and it’s a sure thing that Mike McGuire, a
34-year-old former Sonoma County supervisor who’s a Democrat, will be Marin’s new
state senator. Easy, all of them.
Also easy are three openings on the Marin
Healthcare District board — they should be
filled by incumbents Jennifer Rienks, Larry
Bedard and newcomer Michael Whipple. All
are positive, forward-thinking and knowledgeable regarding Marin General Hospital.
In Measure A, the Marin Emergency Radio
Authority (MERA) wants $29 a year for the
next 20 years to update the net work connecting police, firefighter and public works agencies
in times of emergency. The method of payment
The vie ws and opinions expressed in this
editorial are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position
of Marin Magazine and its staff.
THE FOLLOWING BALLO T com- ments result from studying the sample ballot, viewing (and com- paring) competing websites and critiquing newspaper articles
and editorials. My goal is to help you decide. If
a contest is extremely close, I summarize both
sides — then you make the call. The following
are my predictions and opinions.
First, the easy ones: For California governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general
— Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom (of Marin) and
Kamala Harris, respectively, will win decisively and are my picks.
Relatively close contests involve California’s
state treasurer and insurance commissioner
and the District 2 seat on the State Board of
Equalization. I’m voting for, again respectively,
John Chiang, David Jones and Fiona Ma — all
are Democrats; Chiang and Jones are incumbents, while Ma has Bay Area roots.
The race for state controller — a powerful yet
obscure position — is both fascinating and close.
Betty Yee is a seasoned Democrat well known
in Sacramento; meanwhile, Ashley Swearengin
is the young mayor of Fresno whose Republican
star is rising while her stances are moderate.
Equally tight is the secretary of state contest
between Alex Padilla, an effective Democratic
state senator who championed the plastic bag
ban, and newcomer Pete Peterson, a talented
Republican from academia who says he simply
wants to “make the office run better.” Also
neck-and-neck is the race for superintendent
of public instruction, a nonpartisan office: Tom